Many readers of this blog probably have a few Willamette steelhead in their grip and grin photo collections, but it’s important to remember that not so long ago, the Willamette wasn’t much of a river.
Pollution in Paradise is a hefty reminder of the Willamette’s polluted history and an encouraging indicator of progress for anyone working on restoring the mistakes of the past. The video was shot by Portland’s KGW TV in 1962 and features Tom McCall, who would go on to become one of Oregon’s most noted environmental champions in his role as Governor from 1967-1975.
Take 20 minutes and watch all six sections of the movie. If you care about the future of the Willamette River, it’s well worth your time. To get involved with current restoration efforts on the Willamette, contact your local watershed council, the McKenzie River Trust, Greenbelt Land Trust, or Willamette Riverkeeper.